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Old 03-09-2019, 03:33 PM
 
10 posts, read 5,740 times
Reputation: 19

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Hi all! My husband, two kids, and I are planning to move to the Portland area from Nashville within two years. The COL has soared here and traffic is terrible 24/7. We love Maine but we do have a few questions.

1) How easy was it to meet people/make friends? One of our biggest concerns is making friends.

2) We want to live within 45 minutes of Portland. What are some some safe neighborhoods with good schools, doctors we should check out? We prefer the coastal area. Brunswick is definitely on our list.

3) What are some thing we will definitely need to consider when purchasing or building a house in Maine? (We are from the south and I know things are way different in Maine.)

4) What is something you wished you had know before moving to Maine?

5) We use to live in Alabama and they have TERRIBLE medical care there, what is the medical care like in Maine?

Thank you everyone. We really do appreciate all the help!


Back story: I actually lived in Maine in 2005 when I did a season at Baxter State Park. It has been a while since we visited Maine but we do plan to visit this year to scope out neighborhoods. We are just doing a little preplanning.
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Old 03-10-2019, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Gorham, Maine
1,834 posts, read 4,402,247 times
Reputation: 1261
Kudos to you for starting the process now, I'm sure you'll have time to research these questions and more. One can only guess about how the market will be behaving when you are ready to make the move, but Maine does tend to lag the national market by a year or so. The latest statistics for Maine show sales down, but prices still moving upwards. There is still a shortage of homes for sale.
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Old 03-10-2019, 04:35 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,669 posts, read 49,416,421 times
Reputation: 19119
Quote:
Originally Posted by yeahsham View Post
Hi all! My husband, two kids, and I are planning to move to the Portland area from Nashville within two years. The COL has soared here and traffic is terrible 24/7. We love Maine but we do have a few questions.
Welcome to Maine



Quote:
...1) How easy was it to meet people/make friends? One of our biggest concerns is making friends.
It has not been hard for us.

Right away I got active with the VFW, American Legion and Masonic Lodge.



Quote:
...2) We want to live within 45 minutes of Portland. What are some some safe neighborhoods with good schools, doctors we should check out? We prefer the coastal area. Brunswick is definitely on our list.
I am not familiar with that region.



Quote:
... 3) What are some thing we will definitely need to consider when purchasing or building a house in Maine? (We are from the south and I know things are way different in Maine.)
I think you should rent a house your first year. Use it as a base from which you can explore the regions of Maine. See which region best suits you. Before you buy a house anywhere.



Quote:
...4) What is something you wished you had know before moving to Maine?
I am career military, we have lived in a good many places. So moving to Maine was not a huge deal for us.



Quote:
... 5) We use to live in Alabama and they have TERRIBLE medical care there, what is the medical care like in Maine?
I think that healthcare here in Maine is great!



Quote:
...Thank you everyone. We really do appreciate all the help!


Back story: I actually lived in Maine in 2005 when I did a season at Baxter State Park. It has been a while since we visited Maine but we do plan to visit this year to scope out neighborhoods. We are just doing a little preplanning.
Good luck
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Old 03-10-2019, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Boonies
1,829 posts, read 2,733,396 times
Reputation: 2372
Do you have job(s) lined up? The COL isn't that cheap in Maine either! Winters are brutal on the heating bill, gasoline is higher.

Depending on where you locate to, locating a good primary care physician can be daunting.

Check out the great schools website to find out about the schools.

Is there any particular reason why you have chosen the Portland area to reside in? Brunswick, Freeport, Bath are all within distance of Portland.

As far as making friends, I think us Mainers are a friendly sort after we warm up and get to know people from away! Just keep in mind Maine is a wonderful little state full of New England charm that we want to preserve.
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Old 03-10-2019, 06:22 PM
 
10 posts, read 5,740 times
Reputation: 19
Thank you everyone!!

Yes, we will have jobs lined up before making the move. Our options are Portland, ME, Denver, CO, or Seattle, WA. Of the three Maine's COL (and traffic) is the best.
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Old 03-10-2019, 07:00 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,669 posts, read 49,416,421 times
Reputation: 19119
I owned a home in Washington [just outside of Seattle] for five years, as I was approaching my retirement. We had our hearts set on retiring there. But the COL scared me. Many of my former co-workers were retiring there and I did not like what I saw happening to them.

For us, Maine turned out to be a far better choice.
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Old 03-11-2019, 07:34 PM
 
Location: Portland, Maine
55 posts, read 54,525 times
Reputation: 88
I moved here from Chicago 11 months ago.

1) How easy was it to meet people/make friends? One of our biggest concerns is making friends.

Personally, I think it is difficult to make friends anywhere as an adult. My impression is that people are friendly here, and from my perspective it is about the same as Chicago. You hang out around the same people at the same time (walking the dog, yoga class, etc), and eventually you'll start to get to know each other.


2) We want to live within 45 minutes of Portland. What are some some safe neighborhoods with good schools, doctors we should check out? We prefer the coastal area. Brunswick is definitely on our list.

We live in Portland and knew that's where we wanted to be, so I don't think I'm the best person to answer this. All I can say is that there are a lot of options. Just on my team at work (in Falmouth), we have people who live in Portland, Westbrook, Gorham, Auburn, Windham, and Topsham.


3) What are some thing we will definitely need to consider when purchasing or building a house in Maine? (We are from the south and I know things are way different in Maine.)

I suspect this will depend on where you want to live and what type of house you want to buy. One thing I found interesting is that they don't use lawyers here in normal real estate transactions. You may want to think about A/C. In the past people haven't really needed it on the coast, but I fear that is changing. I like old houses, so we made sure we have lots of windows, and we'll use portable A/C when needed.


4) What is something you wished you had know before moving to Maine?

There's nothing big, but I will list a few little things for you.
- Iced tea is considered seasonal, and even then brewed isn't available at a lot of restaurants
- Premium gasoline is 91 octane; you really have to hunt for 93 (if your car uses premium)
- They don't celebrate Fat Tuesday :-(


5) We use to live in Alabama and they have TERRIBLE medical care there, what is the medical care like in Maine?

Seems fine so far. However, it can take a while to get a first appointment, so plan accordingly. Also, dentists have very cushy hours (like Tuesday-Friday 8:00-4:30). Not sure if any doctor type people offer Saturdays or evenings. For that matter, a lot of stores close at 6:00 on weekdays and on Sundays (even larger ones). Maybe that belongs in the list above.


I hope that if you move here, you love it as much as I do. It's been amazingly peaceful to live by the ocean and work in the trees. There is no traffic to speak of. And Portland has a great urban vibe. It's the best of everything. Good luck!
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Old 03-11-2019, 08:01 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,669 posts, read 49,416,421 times
Reputation: 19119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendy013 View Post
...
5) We use to live in Alabama and they have TERRIBLE medical care there, what is the medical care like in Maine?

Seems fine so far. However, it can take a while to get a first appointment, so plan accordingly. Also, dentists have very cushy hours (like Tuesday-Friday 8:00-4:30). Not sure if any doctor type people offer Saturdays or evenings. For that matter, a lot of stores close at 6:00 on weekdays and on Sundays (even larger ones). Maybe that belongs in the list above.


I hope that if you move here, you love it as much as I do. It's been amazingly peaceful to live by the ocean and work in the trees. There is no traffic to speak of. And Portland has a great urban vibe. It's the best of everything. Good luck!
... and ???
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Maine
16,453 posts, read 20,746,153 times
Reputation: 19073
Quote:
Originally Posted by yeahsham View Post
1) How easy was it to meet people/make friends? One of our biggest concerns is making friends.
It depends on the effort you put into it. New Englanders in general and Maineahs in particular are MUCH more reserved and private than people in the South. It’s not unfriendliness. It’s that they respect your boundaries and want you to do the same until they get to know you.

In Maine, your new neighbors may come by to welcome you to the neighborhood. They might invite you to their barbecue. But they aren’t going to come by for a visit three times a week. The best way to make friends is to get involved in the local community through volunteering, youth activities, religious organizations. If you want to meet people, go where the people are.


Quote:
Originally Posted by yeahsham View Post
2) We want to live within 45 minutes of Portland. What are some some safe neighborhoods with good schools, doctors we should check out? We prefer the coastal area. Brunswick is definitely on our list.
Brunswick should be at the top of your list. Great schools. Two great hospitals in town. Safe city. Great downtown area. The train depot can take you to Boston and points beyond.

But depending on your budget, you shouldn’t discount Topsham, Bath, Freeport, Yarmouth. I would suggest you look north of Portland. South of Portland is really just “nawth Massachusetts.”


Quote:
Originally Posted by yeahsham View Post
3) What are some thing we will definitely need to consider when purchasing or building a house in Maine? (We are from the south and I know things are way different in Maine.)
Is it on public water and sewer or private? If private, how is the well water? When was it last tested? When was the septic last serviced? Is it large enough to support your family?

Does the city clear snow on your road, or will you need to hire someone to do it?

Is high speed Internet available? (Not an issue in most towns, but if you get into some of the more rural communities, it might be.)

Is the heat oil, gas, electric, or what? If oil or gas, you’ll need to consider a fuel provider. If electric, you might want a back-up source during power outages.

As with any home, be sure your inspector checks for galvanized piping, old electrical systems, mold, etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by yeahsham View Post
4) What is something you wished you had known before moving to Maine?
Maine is a GREAT place to live. Maine is a HARD place to making a living. Good paying jobs with benefits are not easy to find. But if you can make a living here, there's no place better to live.


Quote:
Originally Posted by yeahsham View Post
5) We use to live in Alabama and they have TERRIBLE medical care there, what is the medical care like in Maine?
As long as you are in or near a sizeable town, it’s great. Brunswick has lots of old people in town, so we have two great hospitals and more medical clinics than I can count off the top of my head.


Quote:
Originally Posted by yeahsham View Post
Yes, we will have jobs lined up before making the move. Our options are Portland, ME, Denver, CO, or Seattle, WA. Of the three Maine's COL (and traffic) is the best.
I have family in Colorado, and I spent almost ten years living outside Seattle. I would STRONGLY urge you against either Seattle or Denver.

The Cost of Living in Seattle is outrageous. If you aren’t rich, you’ll be living in the ‘hood. There is no longer a distinction between middle class and poor in Seattle/Tacoma. If you’re middle class, you will have bangers in your neighborhood, and your kids will go to school with gang members. And it has some of the worst traffic in the country. I had a 17 mile commute. On a GOOD day I could do it in 45 minutes. It was usually closer to an hour, and a few times it took over 2 hours. Public transportation is terrible. And once Mt. Rainier decides to wake up, you can take Tacoma off the map and count on Seattle turning into a demilitarized zone.

Denver was a great place to live in the ‘70s, but it’s gotten too big. It is a massive city now with all the massive city problems --- crime, traffic, high cost of living. My relatives are actually moving out of the central metro area of Colorado because it has gotten so bad. If you want to enjoy the Rocky Mountain lifestyle that used to exist in Colorado, then move to Wyoming or Montana. It still exists there.
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Old 03-12-2019, 04:07 PM
 
10 posts, read 5,740 times
Reputation: 19
Thank you all so much!! This the exact information we are looking for and I can't wait to come check out the area in a few months!

Quote:
I have family in Colorado, and I spent almost ten years living outside Seattle. I would STRONGLY urge you against either Seattle or Denver.

The Cost of Living in Seattle is outrageous. If you aren’t rich, you’ll be living in the ‘hood. There is no longer a distinction between middle class and poor in Seattle/Tacoma. If you’re middle class, you will have bangers in your neighborhood, and your kids will go to school with gang members. And it has some of the worst traffic in the country. I had a 17 mile commute. On a GOOD day I could do it in 45 minutes. It was usually closer to an hour, and a few times it took over 2 hours. Public transportation is terrible. And once Mt. Rainier decides to wake up, you can take Tacoma off the map and count on Seattle turning into a demilitarized zone.

Denver was a great place to live in the ‘70s, but it’s gotten too big. It is a massive city now with all the massive city problems --- crime, traffic, high cost of living. My relatives are actually moving out of the central metro area of Colorado because it has gotten so bad. If you want to enjoy the Rocky Mountain lifestyle that used to exist in Colorado, then move to Wyoming or Montana. It still exists there.
Mark S. that is exactly what I was wondering about Washington and Colorado. They just seem way too expensive for us. We have friends or family in both locations who are trying to convince us to move there. However, they have lived their for a long time, before both locations became so expensive. Thanks for the information.
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